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Thread: Pheasants with short/no tails

  1. #1

    Pheasants with short/no tails

    A lot of our birds have little or no tails this year. is this a result of pecking whilst still at the rearers place ? I did think a lot of them had baldy backs when we got them.
    Last edited by Malxwal; 03-11-2014 at 18:41.

  2. #2
    Poults that have been held on the field too long or in a release pen that is too small for the number of birds or has little ground cover will pull tail feathers and as you say back feathers, tail pulling can get realy bad to the extent of birds killing one another, i think you would have noticed this if it carried on after release, so the damage was probably done before you recieved them and it does take them a long time to catch back up, particulary if they were later birds to start with, W.S.
    Walk little- look often .

  3. #3
    Feather pecking is usually caused by a calcium deficiency easily sorted by grit being put in dry trays in dry places in the pen. Good news is they will grow tails back when they move away from holding pens.
    Did you not notice blood on the feeder bins?
    Last edited by RED-DOT; 03-11-2014 at 19:18.

  4. #4
    Cheers folks. A lot of the birds had bald patches on the lower back area when we got them, they were allegedly 7-8 weeks old. Our release pens aren't as big as I'd like, but you p*** with what you're given, but not any real evidence of pecking in there, not really blood / feathers around. They've mostly fattened up fine and are flying as well as you'd expect for their first experience of dog at their backs.
    I'm leaning towards it being a product of many larger shoots holding back on taking birds from the rearer.

  5. #5
    I wouldn't have thought that larger shoots held back on release this year as the weather was good, so no reason. Strain, stocking density and bitting timing usually are the cause of feather pecking. Mineral deficiency would be highly improbable on decent rations. Give them space,cover and get your poults early.

  6. #6
    Considering the weather was good it has been an awful rearing season with big losses of pheasant so much so there was a shortage you probably got the shitters from the rearer while a more prestigious shoot buying thousands got the cream .
    Hot days and hot nights caused problems easy to keep warm not so keeping em cool !
    Last edited by norma 308; 05-11-2014 at 18:43.

  7. #7
    Usually the weather will bring them on either rain/frost and more importantly space.
    Wot age are ur birds now? Would off thought most would be recovered from any rearing field pecking a long time ago or were they late birds?

    On a slightly different note i would probably have a quiet word with ur game farmer asking if there was a reason why birds so pecked/bald this year? Unless u have had ur birds of this game farmer for years and this is the first bad batch i would give them the benefit of doubt otherwise maybe look around for another gamefarmer, if u get a bit of rain the first week u can easy get big losses with poorly feathered birds. Quality poults make all the difference esp in wet/cold years
    Most of the keepers and a few game farmers i've spoke to have had a great rearing/releasing season

  8. #8
    Many thanks for the replies lads. The game rearer has supplied many shoots round these parts for a few years now, and always good hardy birds. A few more than normal keeled over at the 8-11 week stage, but not so many as to make it a major concern, and they were all on medicated feed, no yellow s**t etc. The bald backs was common to more than just our shoot, but we're talking about shoots taking less than a thousand birds, so not the big estates. Thirty three birds to a crate, too packed in my opinion, and you always have to wonder if they're not quite as old as you're told.
    We had a fair storm the second night and day the birds were in, but the losses were minimal, and limited to the highest most exposed pen.
    Norma, I think you may be on the right track, and CB, aye, questions will be asked and hopefully remembered when it comes time to order next years.

  9. #9
    I changed my supplier this yr for no real reason other than I fancied a change and boy did I get one ! Troublesome lost a lot of sleep as well as birds after day four in the pen that's the day you know your going to have old supplier got me out the mire and I'll be going back to him next season .just hope we have a real bad winter so it kills the bloody germs in my pens ...too big to lime although I might lime around the water and feed rides

  10. #10
    Well it's certainly getting chillier up here, nice to see everybody out at the bonfire/fireworks tonight with hats and gloves on. We can only pray for some of that white stuff that used to fall out of the sky...Trying some kibbled maize this year as well.

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